The Voice

13 04 2007

April 13th, 2007- By Scott Gurst- F4 Coach

f4-workout-may-8-07-009.jpg As I mentioned before our recent race, the reasons we do these practice races are:

To get in a pretty good workout
To practice intelligent pacing
To become more familiar with the physical feelings that come up during a race
To become more familiar with the mental thoughts that come up during a race
To build toughness, endurance, and resilience

By virtue of showing up, you accomplished all of these. If you didn’t get it just right, that’s OK. If you’re time wasn’t what you wanted it to be, that’s OK, too (especially in light of the refreshing breeze). That’s why we do these practice races. If you can say that you gave your best effort under the circumstances, and came out of it a bit wiser, then it was time well spent.

If you’re like most people, you probably also got the opportunity during the race to have an encounter with The Voice. We all know The Voice. It’s an old friend that seems to want to visit at inconvenient times (like at the start line), and stay just a bit too long.

By itself, The Voice is not necessarily bad. After all, The Voice has it’s heart in the right place. It’s just trying to keep you safe from pain. It doesn’t want you to be disappointed, so it tries to convince you to lower your expectations for yourself. The Voice reasons that if you set the bar low enough, you don’t have to worry about the pain caused by failing, or falling short.

The problem is that in order to accomplish that goal, The Voice lies. It tells you things that aren’t true. It tells you that you are not good enough, that you haven’t trained enough, that today isn’t your day, that the weather isn’t right, that you’re just not feeling it, that you’re not capable of achieving the goals you had set for yourself, that you’re can’t possibly make it, that you’re too old, too slow, too heavy, etc. and a whole host of other deceptions, falsehoods, fabrications, and BS.

But here’s the real kicker. Even if The Voice manages to convince you to play it safe, and set the bar lower, it still can’t win, because when your head hits the pillow at the end of the day, regardless of what The Voice told you, you will know in your heart whether or not you did your best, or whether you were capable of more. So, despite the illusion of offering a refuge from pain and disappointment of failure, there’s nothing The Voice can do to keep you safe. So, when it comes right down to it, The Voice, despite being very loud and persistent at times, has absolutely nothing of value to offer you. So … don’t listen.

When The Voice speaks, listen to what it has to say, thank it for it’s concern, and then remind yourself that it does not speak truth, and then remind yourself of what the truth really is. The truth is that you are hard-working, courageous, and tough, and capable of things beyond your imagination if you just commit to going for it.

In a way, committing to a goal is kind of like falling in love. It just doesn’t work if you try to play it safe by keeping a foot in the door. The only way to succeed is to jump in with both feet, knowing full well that you might be disappointed, and have your heart broken. Yes, it’s a risk, but the potential payoff is glorious. Are you willing to ignore The Voice, and find out what you are truly capable of achieving?

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